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tv   Headline News  RT  October 17, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT

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coming up on ark see the n.s.a. has joined the game of drones according to new leaked info the agency is playing a big role in the u.s. drone program with more details just ahead and it's the real life get out of jail free card the u.s. supreme court tells the state of california to release thousands of prisoners we'll take a look at the ruling ahead. and it's the war over water three southern states are now battling over water rights we'll take a deeper look at the fight that's been pitting neighboring states against each other for more than two decades. it's thursday october seventeenth five pm in washington d.c. i'm lynn neary david in you're watching our tea. we begin today with the latest
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sentence a revelation leaked by former government contractor edward snowden the documents which were obtained by the washington post outline the extent to which the n.s.a. has been involved in the cia's counterterrorism activities the documents specifically detail the agency's engagement in the u.s. drone campaign which involves using armed unmanned vehicles to scope out an attack those thought to be affiliated with terrorism in the past the program has been presented as an exclusive initiative of the cia but now we're learning that u.s. drone wars depend heavily on the n.s.a.'s ability to collect information from e-mails telephone calls and a myriad of other sources according to the washington post the n.s.a. has even created a secret unit called the counterterrorism mission aligned cell or c t.-mac which allowed the agency to focus large amounts of resources on hard to find individuals and response to this latest release the n.s.a. has said quote our activities are directed against valid foreign teligent targets and response to requirements from u.s.
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leaders in order to protect the nation and its interests from threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction however this kind of involvement from the n.s.a. has attracted intense criticism from americans who argue that the n.s.a. surveillance program has grossly overstepped its boundaries edward snowden the former government contractor who leaked the revealing n.s.a. documents to the media remains in russia where he was granted a one year asylum his father long snowden visited him this week and arrived back in the u.s. yesterday take a listen to the advice he's given to his son. to stay. to stay and what do you plan to get my advice that's not necessarily what my son will do. the way he's happy that he used that she'd be committed to what he's done lon snowden says his son still has more secrets to share and of course we will continue to follow the story . well believe it or not at the eleventh hour the united states congress found
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a resolution to reopen the government and avoid defaulting on its debt it only took sixteen days just one day short of the october seventeenth deadline set by the u.s. treasury secretary yesterday senate leaders announced the final deal that would end a partial government shutdown and after passing in passing in the senate the bill was brought to the house floor late last night where it was cleared with two hundred eighty five congressmen voting for the bill and one hundred forty four against it let's take a quick look at what this bill actually entails the deal will fund the government until january fifteenth if both sides haven't agreed on a long term solution by that point we could see another government shutdown under the plan they also agreed to lift the debt limit through february seventh but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the bill is that your market spending that made its way in two point two billion dollars has been authorized for a project that involves a dam that flows through the home state of senate minority leader mitch mcconnell
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and that's on top of the seven hundred seventy five million dollars that's already been allocated to the project the president signed that bill early this morning and later at a news conference he called out the republican party for their involvement in the country's near default if you don't like a particular policy or a particular president then argue for your position go out there and win an election push to change it but don't break it don't break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. that's not. being faithful to what this country is about with the bill signed sealed and delivered hundreds of thousands of federal employees were finally able to return to work today for the first time in over two weeks but before breathing a sigh of relief remember that this is not the last time we'll be hearing about the
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ominous debt ceiling and if you want more on that make sure to check out our tease newest financial show boom bust. this week the u.s. supreme court declined to take up a long running dispute regarding the overcrowding of california's prison system california governor jerry brown had asked the court to overturn a two thousand and eleven judicial order that require the state to reduce the prison population by nearly one hundred and forty percent california prisons have been in the national spotlight over the course of the past year as the state grappled with the severe overcrowding leading to concerns about prison health conditions one particular concern for prison advocates has been the state's employment of a long term solitary confinement policy a controversy which led to a major hunger strike by california prisoners earlier this year now all of the nearly one hundred twenty thousand prisoners in the california state prison population the court has ordered that the state free about nine thousand six hundred additional and eight by the end of the year so far under the court order
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california has cut its prison population by about twenty five thousand inmates in the past two years so to discuss this and the mass incarceration that seemed to define this country earlier i was joined by ernest galvin a partner at rosen being a gal then and run felt i first asked him why the court ordered the release of so many inmates from the california prison system well the federal courts in california have been grappling with inhumane conditions in the california prison system for twenty years and during that time the state has tried to put more resources into minimally humane health care for prisoners but at the same time we were on incarceration binge and the state can ask the laws increasing sentences and sending more people into prison for minor offenses and drug offenses and the prisons just became so overcrowded that you couldn't you couldn't do basic things like respond to a person who was bleeding and people would bleed to death in their cells that
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places were just too crowded and so the courts finally in two thousand and eight said enough. there's enough you're operating this place at two hundred percent of your capacity and you're killing people and so you need to get it down to something more reasonable and they said they ordered a cap on the on the capacity and then the state has been complying with that cap trying to comply with that cap since about two thousand and eight and the population is down somewhat and now we're just fighting over the last seven or eight thousand people after four years of this process of bringing the prison population under control and one for the conditions like for some of the inmates that you specifically represented. well i represent the people the most vulnerable people in the population and in my case the people with severe mental illness i mean in america we've had a trend since the one nine hundred sixty s. and closing down mental hospitals and there was
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a promise when we did that there would be more community based mental health services so people who had been treated in institutions for the insane could be treated in their communities well that promise never materialized and essentially we we took people from the mental hospitals and put them on the street they deteriorated got involved with law enforcement and ended up in prison and so something like twenty five to thirty percent of state prisoners in california are people with a severe mental illness and those people were in her if it conditions they would be very symptomatic to compensate commit suicide be in cells where they're they're basically losing touch with reality smearing themselves with their own waste and there just wasn't enough capacity to care for them the other competitive cases ism is a medical case where you just have people with with medical conditions range ranging from infections to cancer who also were not getting minimal care and they're in
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prison it's not like they can just go to the doctor or call nine one one the only care they can get is the care that the prison system gives them and california is simply just stuffing too many people into these prisons to deliver even minimal care and that definitely sounds unbearable what do you make of this argument being made by municipalities and by california governor jerry brown that the influx of inmates into society will be overly burdensome and dangerous it's false i mean that it's already happened when we filed for overcrowding relief in late two thousand and six at that point the state policymakers already knew that they had a problem and they could see this ruling coming down the pike and so they started reducing the prison population on their own i do. peak in two thousand and seven we had one hundred seventy four thousand prisoners in our state prison system and since two thousand and seven they're down about forty thousand prisoners so we're down to about one hundred twenty thousand one hundred twenty four thousand
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prisoners now so we've already had this enormous reduction in the prison population and we haven't had a crime in fact from two thousand and seven to two thousand and twelve which of the latest crime statistics we have crime in california is down more than ten percent i think what we've learned in this country we went on incarceration banbridge in response to crime waves of the seventy's and we ended up with the highest incarceration rate in the world and now some states either voluntarily like in new york state or through litigation like in california are starting to get over the incarceration binge drinking their very prison populations under control and they're not suffering crime ways new york state as has enjoyed the greatest reduction in crime in history while reducing its prison population voluntarily i think your communities are correct to agitate and lobby as much as possible for more funds and what i hope one of the results of my cases will be is take the ten
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billion dollars a year that we throw into the prison system into a system that doesn't work and return some of that money to the communities to counties and cities so they can use it on things that do work we know that putting more police on the street works to reduce crime we know that more services for people with mental illness works to reduce crime and so we need to get that money out of prisons where it's just wasted warehousing people and into these communities so they are the communities are right they they should get the resources that we're now freeing up from the prison system and gave i want to ask you one last question and we only have about a minute left you know the idea that these prisoners are being freed isn't necessarily true in many cases there are plans to move many of these inmates from state prisons to local and private prisons is this solving a problem or perhaps just shifting it. well the gov last month when it became clear that they were not going probably not going to get relief from the
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supreme court of the united states the governor in california's legislative leaders passed a bill to that authorize funding to move this last eight thousand or so to as you said private contracted prisons in different parts of california using that we have a big private prison industry in america. that may buy them some breathing time i think you are correct to say that it's not a long term solution a long term solution would be to use the proven crime reduction policies that we know about and not waste money giving into the private prison industry but if it does by the policymakers some more time then and they use that time wisely then it could be a good thing absolutely will all very very important information thank you so much for coming on and breaking it down for us as gallon a partner at rosen buy and calvin and gone south thank you you thank. before his
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untimely death hacktivists aaron swartz was working on a very timely project it was called dead drop and the idea behind it was a wiki leaks style submission system and which whistleblowers could leak documents and information to journalists without the fear of disclosing their identity when swartz died the project wasn't quite ready for implementation there were a number of kinks in the software including outright problems with the program's installation and while that could have been the bitter end of that initiative freedom of information advocates have decided not to let swartz drop swartz's dream and die so easily just this week the freedom of the press foundation announced that it has taken the project under its wing and renamed it secure a drop in the coming months the foundation says it will provide onsite installation and technical support to news organizations that want to run the system but in addition to installation support the foundation plans to equip media organizations with the tools needed to maintain a secure server in the long term the magazine the new yorker was the first
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organization to use the secure drop code through a similar initiative called the strongbox project but will more news organizations follow suit to talk about all of that and more i'm joined by our t.v. producer andrew blake hey andrew always good to see you so first of all explain how this whole secure drop server works if there was an easy way to explain how secure drop worked everyone would already be implementing a system like this so that's might be a bit too much to bite off but especially a series of networked computers all together that through different protocols and tactics that are employed ok i'll make it really easy it allows people to anonymously submit documents to a selected news organization and once those documents are received by the selective news organization they are ideally scrubbed of identifying data provided to journalists so that they can work off. these documents and perhaps work towards
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blowing the whistle on a certain issue whether it's domestic international politics or what have you without risking of repercussions of well what we're seeing lately with the surveillance coming from you know malicious actors be it government entities or otherwise so it's just a new system that ideally would be simplistic enough so that people the want to be whistle blower out there who is sitting on a document that they would like others to discover but aren't really sure how to go about doing that securely this would enable that and is it one hundred percent and passion of all or nothing really is there and this this. this whole system itself relies on a whole bunch of different stuff you know the the user sitting on the documents has to connect to a certain website using tor the anonymizer program from there they go to a certain web site they memorize certain code and identities or even revealed through this if it's if it's all being implemented successfully no one really knows
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who they're talking to and you know just like anything like we just recently found out that the government's been spending years and presumably millions of dollars are trying to find ways to compromise security of people who use programs like tor so nothing is really one hundred percent secure and it all depends on the user but with this kid at least do is provide a new outlet for people to distribute interior walls to journalistic organizations . much easier than what's currently available mean wiki leaks doesn't even accept submissions right now using the standard protocol that they put in place years ago and especially in the stone age it's really hard to approach a journalist and say oh hey i have something very interesting for you but no one is supposed to know this is supposed to bypass those barriers and make it easier for journalists to know what they're doing and who are working with secure information and working securely to communicate also securely with their sources sure so who exactly is going to benefit from us. this tool do you know and also do you know
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what organizations have sort of bought into this so far of the press foundation already so that at least half a dozen organizations have signed up and said that they they want in and for the press foundation is actually being incredibly generous and they're trying to raise money right now so they can go to different organizations who might not have the financial backing to install a system like this to you know operate the code learn how to use it have the machines in their office they're willing to actually help out getting the system in place in place which is fantastic but you know like we said earlier the new yorker was already using it and i think we're going to see a handful of new organizations that already have it doesn't step up and it could really change the whole game of journalism if anyone not just the wiki leaks or new york times or the washington post or the guardian you know if a source can say i have information and i want a specific outlet to have it and i think it's a secure way that i can present to them this would enable it and as far as who could benefit from it i mean essentially the world the possibilities are really
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endless if you're if you're implementing a system that exists so that import information can be distributed by people. i mean who doesn't benefit by being able to distribute information what would happen if we queue leaks wasn't around and no one saw the collateral murder video or the diplomatic cables or the war logs or the guantanamo bay detainee assessment briefs and so on and so on and so on so it really just depends on who we talk about who can benefit it's really the caliber of the material that's involved absolutely and lastly i have to ask how this all fits into the legacy of the late aaron swartz of course he was obviously someone who was very very committed to releasing information to the public domain he was unsuccessfully prosecuted for his role in compromising pacer. the legal system as well as a handful of other entities and we know that the government went after him pretty hard. and he worked on this for a while. kevin paulson report reporter and
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a hacker who most recently been working with wired and really got this thing squared up and there was just a recently a major security audit i just read all thirty pages of it last night it looks like you know they're really working on getting all the kinks out here and making something that aaron swartz would very much be proud of i absolutely will it's very important tool for journalists to know about appreciate you coming on blake r.t. web producer. water water everywhere but not a drop to drink most of us know it as an old adage but for people throughout the united states the saying has turned into an unfortunate reality as more and more states begin to run out of clean drinking water and back this lack of resources is now playing out at the judicial level as state secret resolution and court most recently the state of florida filed suit against georgia claiming its scarcity of water and a burgeoning population in the city of atlanta artie's was wall has more. for over two decades three states have been in
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a bitter battle over water now the fight has reached a boiling point there's certainly an issue about whether there's enough water for everybody georgia alabama and florida all have a stake in the apalachicola chattahoochee flynn's river system it's the source of drinking water fishing business and recreation or i'm standing right now i am and georgia just on the other side of this river that's alabama now the water is flowing down south into the state of florida and with all three states having a stake in this river it's leading to a war over water early october florida filed a lawsuit against georgia in the supreme court the sunshine state charged its northern neighbor with using too much water florida says georgia's water consumption is drying out business for oyster farmers oysters need a healthy mix of fresh am salt water to thrive so who is sucking up the most water
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many blame out lana the city is growing and so is its third for water. is population growth is this climate change is coming we're starting to stretch our water resources particularly periods of drought but outside florida experts keeping an eye on the water level of the chattahoochee river say it's not all atlantis fault but that there's a lot of climate change strands we see less rainfall the last ten years and that certainly affects the flow into apalachicola and there's a lot of other variables that if you know the oysters and we've been just brace warders the neighboring states have been fighting over their rivers resources for over twenty years one lawsuit after another there's been no solution that quenches everyone's thirst it's not very often that the come to. a consent. around something that both people have given taking on they you there
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win or lose usually in court you think of the cost of twenty three years of litigation and these heels and then the federal agencies that are involved it's enormous for the most part the river is regulated by the army corps of engineers if florida gets its way the corps would force atlanta to cut back on its water consumption and divvy up the water among the three states but some that have a stake in the river still hold out hope that the dispute can be settled outside of the courts i would hope that within the next five years the three states can get to the table and bring resolution of the in columbus georgia list of all party. sort of break down the latest in these water wars i'm joined by monica lol director of the columbia water center thank you so much motto for joining me you know in the story we just saw there a florida is suing the state of georgia because it's over using its water resources
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are other u.s. states facing similar conflicts. meter. water conflicts of this color are actually not that uncommon. if you look at the history of america in the rest what it was. and then there was developing compact across state that walked by even the most famous of those. back which was set up at nine hundred twenty it turned out they never talked about what i. mean and what it does so people today talk about change but it continues to. me that you can have ten or twelve years operating. and then the subsequent twenty years maybe try. if you do like they did with the colorado to come up to an agreement where you look at the waters off there to. two different
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states are different all that a station in proportion to what you think is available on average has been used which to a guy face suddenly. effectively there was. a push state to the colorado utah. wyoming and so forth to develop enough to get by it was an issue but today it is an issue. operation. a country doing there's a duchenne with the department of state video everything absolutely you know in the florida georgia case in particular just the dispute was mainly over the following revenue for our eastern businesses do you think it takes business interests to really spur change. i think it's what it's going to come to because
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since the 1980's when president reagan was in office the federal government environmental regulation has gotten out of the business of managing our planning or developing a water resource so all of us certainly fine states have water programs but when it comes to an issue which is across the there's really no clear favorite for doing it the people are the groups that are most often. if i showed interest of businesses who supply chain on back water most of the water in the country is used for food production or for energy production so those other business in. the four friends office to be sure well you know we've heard people say now that water is the new oil to oil in the next generation do you think that's a fair comparison. not quite it's obviously very valuable as
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a person who works on water i love it when people try to extol the what use of water i understand you but realistically there's a few different the key differences that water is a reviewable resource we have the hydrological cycle that we are loaded or in kindergarten so there's a certain amount of the ridge for that we received thirty of us process. color on which is essentially a big bang however beyond that places such as the ogallala aquifer in the united states our center that we are in parts of florida. we do have water which is one hundred two hundred thousand years old and people would have expected. that they say that. we might be looking good. on the other hand that are in the prices of the value of seem to be pretty well established by the market however it water because there's a trade as
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a public sector resource it's better to be priced and so we don't really know what we should assign as value to it and i think that's going to come first before we start having sure and what you say is the best way really to resolve these kinds of conflicts like the one we've seen between florida alabama and georgia is taking it to the courts the best dancer at this point. even if you take it to the courts the first thing a corporate office what is sort of h.r. office the source of much is really available how often is that they're very what's the quality of the water that they're rated. need to know that before they start assigning rights to different people. the problem we have is that we have not gone through that except a systematically across the country and we don't have a pattern or. how much value should be as i. buy a big word good action off the phone warfare with a production of food were provided was
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a great get what people pay what made you the water is what the you'll be but there are fifty of very practical over all of you for your question earlier about but then i think dr who took up with it or. we could only hope we're actually if you look at the political about it i get it but you're going to. create a water issue that we're better able and absolutely i'm so sorry to cut in but we have unfortunately run out of time but i do appreciate you coming on monologue director of the columbia water center thank you peculiar. and now to another instance of the revolving door when public officials take their connections and knowledge to the private sector where they can cash in when arkansas senator blanche lincoln was voted out of office back in two thousand and ten insiders and washington speculated that she had her eye on the top spot as secretary of agriculture especially given her experience as the chair of the senate agriculture
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committee but now it's clear that she'll take a more common path starting a lobbying firm called lincoln policy group and yesterday politico announced that the group had three new contracts with agra giant monsanto communications company comcast and the oil refinery valero ad that's a lincoln policy group's preexisting contracts which include businesses like walmart experience and the interstate natural gas association of america and it's no surprise that lincoln has secured these lobbying deals take a look at two of lincoln's biggest campaign contributors while wal-mart and comcast which combined spend more than one hundred thousand dollars on her candidacy now they're paying her again to be a lobbyist on their behalf it's a short walk from capitol hill to k. street but it's one that the former senator will be taking quite frequently that does it for now we'll see you right back here at eight.
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well. technology innovation all the developments around russia. for the future are covered. max kaiser this is the kaiser report you know wal-mart and wall street are remarkably similar they are the same sugardaddy all wal-mart relies on cheap goods from china and wall street relies on cheap money from china.


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